What is mediation? Mediation is a process that is used by may courts to see if the parties involved in litigation can resolve their cases without a trial. It is a non-binding procedure where a neutral mediator tries to see if there is any common ground between the parties. The mediator tries to facilitate a settlement. Many courts require the parties to go through mediation before the Judge will allow a trial. On occasion, parties may try to mediate a matter before filing a lawsuit, in an effort to save on litigation costs.
Our firm represents both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation mediations, however, we do not handle any family law mediations.
Rules for Mediation
Most certified Mediators in the area of civil litigation follow the same general rules. These may give you a better idea of what to expect if you will be a party, or acting as the entity representative in a mediation.
1. Mediation Process. Mediation is a process under which an impartial person and/or mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement or understanding among them. The mediator may suggest ways of resolving the dispute, but may not impose his or her own judgment on the issues for that of the parties.
2. Consent to Mediator. The parties consent to the appointment of the individual named as mediator in their case. The Mediator shall act as en advocate for resolution end shall use his or her best efforts to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable settlement.
3. Conditions Precedent to Serving as Mediator. The mediator will only serve in cases in which the parties are represented by attorneys. The Mediator shall not serve as a mediator in any dispute in which he or she has any financial or personal interest In the result of the mediation. Prior to accepting an appointment, the Mediator shall disclose any circumstances likely to create a presumption of bias or prevent a prompt meeting with the parties. In the event that the parties disagree as to whether the Mediator shall serve, the Mediator shall not serve.
4. Authority of Mediator. The Mediator does not have the authority to decide any issue for the parties, but will attempt to facilitate the voluntary resolution of the dispute by the parties. The Mediator is authorized to conduct joint and separate meetings with the parties and to offer suggestions to assist the parties achieve settlement. if necessary, the Mediator may also obtain expert advice concerning technical aspects of the dispute, provided that the parties agree and assumes the expenses of obtaining such advice. Arrangements for obtaining such advice shall be made by the Mediator or the parties, as the Mediator shall determine.
5. Mediator Cannot Impose Settlement. The parties understand that the Mediator will not and cannot impose a settlement in their case end agree that a settlement, if any, must be voluntarily agreed to by the parties. The Mediator, as an advocate for settlement, will use every effort to facilitate any negotiations. The Mediator does not warrant or represent that settlement will result from the mediation process.
6. Authority of Representatives. The Party Representatives MUST have authority to settle, and all persons necessary to the decision to settle shall be present.
7. Privacy. Mediation sessions are private. The parties and their representatives may attend mediation sessions. Other persons may attend only with the permission of the parties and with the consent of the Mediator.
8. Confidentiality. Confidential Information disclosed to a Mediator by the parties or by witnesses in the course of the mediation shall not be divulged by the Mediator. All records, reports or other documents received by a mediator serving in that capacity shall be confidential. The Mediator shall not be compelled to divulge such records or to testify in regard to the mediation In any adversary proceeding or Judicial forum.
9. No Stenographic Record. There shall be no stenographic record of the mediation process and no person shall tape record any portion of the mediation session.
10. No Service of Process at or near the site of the Mediation Session. No subpoenas, summons, complaints, citations, writs or other process may be served upon any person at or near the sits of any mediation session upon any person entering, attending or leaving the session.
11. Termination of Mediation. The mediation shall be terminated: a) by the execution of a settlement agreement by the parties; b) by declaration of the Mediator to the affect that further efforts at mediation are no longer worthwhile; or c) after the completion of on full mediation session, by a written declaration of a party or parties to the affect that the mediation proceedings are terminated.